The dominance of not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare systems remains, but in recent years their for-profit counterparts have been gaining ground.
It's been a decade since the number of not-for-profit hospitals stood at more than 3,000. The latest data from the American Hospital Association counts 2,904 not-for-profit hospitals in America in 2010. Except for a 10-hospital increase in 2008, the number of not-for-profits has decreased every year since 2002. Since 2006, the number of not-for-profit hospitals has shrunk by 15, a decrease of less than 1%. Meanwhile, for-profit hospitals have grown at a faster pace over the same period, increasing nearly 14% from 890 in 2006 to 1,013 in 2010. According to AHA data, 2010 marked the first year for-profits crossed the 1,000-hospital threshold.
According to the same data, it appears growth in the for-profit sector has come primarily at the expense of local, governmentally owned hospitals. Those facilities dropped from 1,119 in 2006 to 1,068 in 2010, a nearly 5% decrease.